The livestock sector in Somaliland State of Somalia is constrained by poor compliance with animal welfare practices due to inadequate public and private sector investments, weak support institutions, inadequate capacity, low public awareness, outdated policies, apathy to law enforcement among others. The sector has been subjected to unfavourable government policies resulting from structural adjustment programmes of the 1980’s with consequent under-funding from public and private sectors, as well as poorly functioning institutional settings and weak implementation capacity of animal welfare policies, regulations and standards where they exist.
IGAD Center for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD) in partnership with AU-IBAR who are implementing VET GOV Program with funding from the EU supported Kenya Government to develop the national animal welfare strategy through a consultancy. The draft report was subject to validation in Hargeisa, Somaliland on 12th June, 2017 after being organized by the Director General of the Ministry of Livestock Development. Delegates were drawn from the Ministry of Livestock, animal welfare organizations, Livestock Professional Associations and Somaliland Veterinary Board, FAO, ISTVS, Golis and Burao Universities among others.
The workshop was officially opened by Dr. Ahmed Abdi Ali, the Director General in the Ministry of Livestock, Somaliland, who reiterated the economic and cultural importance of livestock to pastoralists. He indicated the commitment of the Ministry to ensuring that animal health and welfare standards are improved to prevent outbreaks of trans-boundary animal diseases (TADs) such as Rift Valley Fever, which have previously led to suspension and ban in international trade of live animals from Somaliland. Welcome remarks were presented by Dr. Wamalwa on behalf of ICPALD Director, Dr. Solomon Munyua.
The following were recommendations:
- The role of the private sector such as Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, livestock traders associations, professional veterinary associations, teaching institutions etc should be clearly stated and incorporated within the proposed animal welfare strategy
- The scope of coordination, collaboration and partnerships should be significantly widened in the strategy to ensure that all transboundary livestock related issues such as TADs, pasture, water etc are adequately addressed, based in the regional, continental and international mandates of IGAD, AU-IBAR, OIE and FAO respectively
- The economic benefits and viability of animal welfare should be clearly articulated and incorporated into the strategy under the theme that “if you take care of your animals, they will take care of you”
- All the Five Freedoms and Five Provisions as well as the 16 animal welfare standards adopted by OIE be the basis for advancing and promoting animal welfare in Somaliland.
IGAD/ICPALD appreciates the financial support by AUIBAR/EU